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Monthly contactless spend passes £1.5 billion

UK Card Expenditure Statistics: March 2016

Spending on contactless cards has reached a record £1.5 billion in a month for the first time.

Contactless payments totalled £1.508 billion in March, the latest data from The UK Cards Association shows. The milestone comes just four months after contactless spending hit £1 billion, in November 2015. The £0.5 billion mark came in May last year.

One in seven of all card transactions are now contactless, compared to one in 16 a year ago. There were a total of 179.6 million contactless purchases in March, with 67 made every second. On the high street, one in six card purchases is now contactless.

Monthly contactless spending has more than trebled in the past year, up from £431.1 million in March 2015. There are a total of 86.5 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK.

Overall, total payment card spending was £51.9 billion in March, with 1.18 billion transactions in the month.

Richard Koch, Head of Policy at The UK Cards Association, said:

“It took almost eight years for monthly contactless spending to reach half a billion pounds - now it’s grown by the same amount in just four months. This dramatic rise shows that paying with contactless is now second nature for millions of consumers who see it as an alternative to cash.

“Contactless cards are already being used to pay for travel and to donate to charity and as the technology evolves, we will see even more environments where contactless will enable fast, easy and secure payments.”

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